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January 14, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-01-14

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8- Friday, January 14, 2011

The Michigan Daily - mieh gandaily.com

Blue to face rowdy crowd

Michigan coach Red Berenson leads his team into a weekend home-and-home series against a tough Ferris State team.
' ready for physical play

By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Editor
In the Michigan hockey team's
series this weekend, maize and
blue will likely turn into black and.
bruised.
With No.7 Michigan facing Ferris
State in a home-
and-home series,
the Wolverines Ferris State
know one thing: t Michigan
they are going to
get hit. Matchup:
The defensively Ferris State
minded Bulldogs 1a8-4, ichi-
have made a habit 1
of using their size When: Friday,
- they have 10 7:35 P.M.
players. who are Where: Yost
6-foot-2 or taller Ice Arena
- and strength to TV/Radio:
intimidate oppo- CBS College
nents this season,
which in turn has vaulted them to
top in the nation in goals against.
Ferris State is the only program in
the country team giving up less than
two goals per game this season.
"They're really good at playing
man-on-man," senior forward Carl
Hagelin said after practice Wednes-
day. "They're not going to give up
(on) any hits. You know you're going
to get hit at least 10 times that game.
It's just hard toget to the net."
Ferris State's hit-first-

count-how-many-later attitude was
on display when Michigan (10-4-1-0
CCHA, 13-6-4 overall) played the
Bulldogs in late October. The Wol-
verines split the home-and-home
series, needing a goal from junior
forward David Wohlberg with 13
seconds left to tie the first game in
Big Rapids before losing in over-
time. Michigan came back with a
3-2 victory at home the following
night.
"Itfelt like we were almost scared
to play against them," Hagelin said
after the series' first game. "We're
thinking too much about how they
play."
The five total goals scored by the
Wolverines are tied for their low-
est in a series all season. And while
Wohlberg's late goal stole a point
back in October, Michigan coach Red
Berenson and his players have men-
tioned that the most important goal
scored in the games this weekend
probably won't be the lastone. It will
be the first.
If Michigan can score the open-
ing marker, it forces Ferris State to
pull out of their collapsing defensive
style slightly in an attempt to garner
the equalizer. In the two teams' past
eight meetings, the team who has
scored first has won the game. The
Wolverines are also 10-0-3 this sea-
son when scoring first.
"You don't want to make too much

of it because whether you do or you
don't, itcdoesn't guarantee anything,"
Berenson said. "We know the first
goal has been a factor in most of our
wins, but you could have four first
goals and four wins and say, 'Well
every time we score first, we win,'
but then the fifth game you might
score first and not win."
The teams will be familiar with
each other from their last meeting,
but the stakes have changed. Fresh
"You know you're
going to get hit
at least 10 times
that game."
off a sweep of Bowling Green last
weekend, the Bulldogs (8-6-3-2,
11-8-4) have jumped into third place
in the conference. Michigan sits in
second, just four points behind Notre
Dame, though the Fighting Irish
have played one more game than the
Wolverines. .
And if Michigan can pull any
closer to the top of the CCHA as the
season winds down, then maybe all
the pain this series is sure to bring
will be worth it.

By CHANTEL JENNINGS
Daily Sports Editor
Junior guard Stu Douglass said
it's never easy to win in Indiana's
arena, Assembly Hall.
In his two years on the team,
the Wolverines have gone 1-1 on
the road against Indiana. But
they've never competed against
the Hoosiers
when the stu- Michigan
dents were on at Indiana
campus.
"It's a tough Matchup:
environment," Michigan 11-6;
junior guard Indiana 9-8
Zack Novak When: Sat-
said on Wednes- urday 8 P.M.
day. "I know I Where:
haven't played Assembly Hall
there when their TV/Radio:
students have BTN
been there, so
it'll be kind of
a new experience for me, but it's
a loud place to play. (Their) fans
bring it. I think we'll be ready to
go. Our fans the last two games
got us ready for a loud crowd,
they've definitely done that."
.The fans at Crisler Arena have
been rowdy the past two games,
which will prepare the squad for
the noise inside Assembly Hall.
And if the on-court play against
No. 3 Kansas and No. 2 Ohio State
is any kind of sign, the Wolverines
(1-3 Big Ten, 11-6 overall) may be
on track to pick up their second
Big Ten win of the season.
The Hoosiers (0-4, 9-8) started
the year 9-2 but have struggled
recently - losing their first four
conference games and their last
six games overall.
The Hoosiers are led by sopho-
more forward Christian Watford,
returning after an impressive
freshman campaign where he was
named to the All-Big Ten fresh-
man team. This season, he's estab-
lished himself as Indiana's most
reliable scoring option, averaging
16.9 points a game.
Michigan has done a good job
containing opposing teams' top
post players this season by throw-
ing a mixture of defensive looks
and plenty of weak-side help at
each big man. Redshirt freshman

4 '1
JAKE FROMM/Daily
Sophomore guard Darius Morris leads Michigan with 15.4 points per game.
Jordan Morgan and freshman thing to do than people think.
Jon Horford have rotated well for "(Ohio State) was a tough team,
each other this season and held and I don't think it's going to be
their own against some of the best any easier now when we go to
post play in the country. Indiana and play. It's the same
Most recently, Michigan was deal right now."
able to hold Ohio State's fresh- Novak and sophomore guard
man sensation Jared Sullinger to Darius Morris have been the most
well under his season averages in consistent players for the Wol-
points and rebounds. The Wol- verines this far into the Big Ten
season. The 6-foot-4 Novak leads
Michigan with seven rebounds a
game and has been clutch when
"To get over the the Wolverines needed him.
Morris's numbers have dropped
hump, you have slightly since entering conference
t be better play, but he's still dishing out an
to thean impressive seven assists per game
the bad breaks" and putting up nearly 14 points
t every time out.
After losing three in a row, the
Wolverines are looking to get over
the hump and snatch a win in the
verines played Sullinger so effec- Big Ten schedule.
tively that he fouled out the game, "We want to win, we wanted
the first time that's happened this to beat them," Morgan said of the
season. Wolverines' close loss to Ohio
"We're close, but to get over the State on Wednesday. "It's not like
hump, you got to be better than it's okay. (We're going to) go for-
the (bad) breaks," Michigan coach ward - we got two road games,
John Beilein said. "You got to be Playing in the Big Ten - one of
better than the other team. You the best conferences in the coun-
got to be so focused, you got to be try - (we) just want to be playing
better than any calls that don't go our best basketball come Big Ten
your way - and that's a tougher Tournament time."

2_ _
r*

L.

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